I awoke from my nap yesterday to the tragic news of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. My daughter, Kennedy, was the first to tell me. I ran to the internet and found article after article about it and with every moment, my heart sank more and more. Tears were falling down my face as I began to imagine the pain and horror this community was feeling. I felt so helpless. This will be one of those days that I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news.
I couldn’t help but think about a time in my life when my daughter,
Stephanie, who is now 23 years old, was four years old. She had a
terrible, painful and deadly illness that almost took her life. The
doctors said she had a severe infection in her bloodstream that had
invaded her little body through an open sore. She was in septic shock
and she was dying. I remember the day the doctors told me they didn’t
think she would survive. I just went numb. After a long and agonizing
2-week stay in the pediatric intensive care unit of Children’s Hospital
of the King’s Daughters and a couple of surgeries later, she was
miraculously healed and released from the hospital! We do believe it was
The reason this came to my mind after hearing about the shooting in
the elementary school is because when I asked Stephanie what she
remembered about that time in her life, her memories are nothing but
good ones. She remembered the visitors. She remembered the nice, caring
nurses. She remembered me being there the whole time. She recalls this
time of her life with a sense of peace. After seeing what she went
through and how much pain she was in, I must say I was really surprised
to hear this.
Friday as I struggled to make sense of how someone could hurt an
innocent child intentionally, my mom heart immediately began to grieve
as I thought about how scared those precious children must have been.
But then I remembered Stephanie’s ordeal and how she came away from it
with nothing but good memories. I truly believe those children felt the
presence of God in their final moments. I truly believe they felt peace.
I believe God sent His angels before it even happened to be there to calm them, love them, and bring them into their eternal home.
Why do I believe this? Is it in the Bible in a verse somewhere? Not
that I know of. But I know God’s character. I know He loves children
deeply and He does not delight in seeing His loved ones die. I know He
loves our children even more than we do. And I know what I saw in my own
daughter’s life during her desperate hours. Her face was strangely
peaceful. Her memories are nothing but good. And her life has never been
the same since then.
I will never believe, for a single moment, that God was not present in that room with those precious babies. His
precious babies. That brings my mom-heart such comfort. And I pray the
same presence those children felt will be felt by their grieving parents
as they begin to face a reality that no parent should ever have to
Evil is real and it is all around us. But it is temporary. Evil will eventually be destroyed. This is our hope as believers.
Psalm 10:17 “LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.”